Learn how merchandising for existing and emerging digital channels differs from traditional catalog merchandising. Larry Shaw, Catalog University Dean of Merchandising, explains how to leverage the advantages of online selling with merchandise that is best suited to succeed online. Larry is a keen observer of our industry – and his insights are amazingly helpful for B2B and well as B2C direct marketers as he shares how he approaches online merchandise differently.
First Larry reviews the key factors for successful merchandising for digital channels. He explains the differences between catalog and digital from cycle times, and assortments, through visibility, audience, and customer interaction. His insight into how each difference can be an advantage is very interesting.
One of the biggest differences in online merchandising is the introduction cycle for new products. New products are one of the most important factors for online success. Larry discusses when and how often to introduce new items. This is significantly different from the traditional offline product introduction cycle.
Demonstration matters much more online and videos can increase sales by 2x. Larry shares insights on what you need to factor in to be successful, from production considerations to branding considerations.
What you can do to overcome the tiny selling space of mobile? Retargeting, Facebook ads, display ads, mobile offers, etc. all favor products that are a quick read at a small size. Understanding what you can control and what you can’t is a big part of finding the right merchandise fit. Larry also shares what mobile does well and what it doesn’t.
Visual selling is changing the way customers are introduced to new products. Themes and collections being pinned and shared by millions of online users are providing new analytics that can be used by merchants. Larry discusses how these new media channels should be part of the product consideration.
Different customers, viewpoints, and personal passions are all part of what makes online merchandising so different from catalog merchandising. Larry explains why thinking through what excites customers and the differences between older and younger customers will stimulate browsing and discovery. Tapping into your customer’s passion and figuring out what motivates them is the first step to understanding how to engage them. Larry provides some interesting examples and useful insights.
Always the hardest question to answer: Do we need to be price competitive? Larry shares what you need to understand to succeed from a merchandising standpoint. He discusses assortment levels, value, and his secret to success (hint: it isn’t being the cheapest source out there.)
This was a terrific Pub Talk, filled with useful and timely information. We hope you enjoy it.